Please note: This story is set outside of Disney's canon universe. I will attempt to keep the characters true to form, but certain requirements of my alternate universe will impress changes upon them.

Warnings: Mild violence, Homosexual relations, Mild language.


Chapter 20

In Which a Hero Gets an Epilogue

Kim toed the television screen, trying to jab her digits against the volume control. Shego had hidden the remote to tease her, but she had been unwilling to beg for the device. The local news channel was doing a special about Montgomery Fiske's insurgency. Although Kim had little interest in most of it, she had given an interview and was eager to see how she looked.

"You're really going to watch this trash?"

"It's not all trash."

Shego snorted as she returned to the room. Because both of them had received stipends from the city for crime fighting, they had been able to afford a newer apartment with a little more space. However Shego's old television had come with them, mostly because Shego didn't want to get rid of technology that hadn't broken yet. Kim thought, though, that Shego was fond of the old thing and couldn't bear to part with it.

"When's your interview? Do we have to watch all of it? Or can we just wait?"

"I don't know when it is, and I'm not going to miss it."

After sliding a bowl of popcorn along their coffee table, Shego eased herself onto the couch and curled her arm around Kim's shoulders.

"Fine, I guess."

"Shh, it's starting."

The screen displayed a smiling brunette standing outside the last hideout used by Fiske. She opened her arms and gestured to her surroundings.

"One year ago today, these grounds were home to Montgomery Fiske, known to much of the public as Monkey Fist." She took a few steps towards the door. "We remember today the citizens of this city who lost their lives at his hands, to the business destroyed, and the damages wrought."

Bored already, Shego snaked her hand slowly down to Kim's waist. Kim wiggled away, eyes trained on the screen. Unwilling to be denied, Shego gave a small pinch to Kim's side. Kim mewled pathetically and elbowed Shego back.

"Stop that!"

"Come on." Shego purred. "This isn't your interview."

"I know that, but still!" Kim resisted. "I know how you get."

"How I get?"

"Yes. Once you get going, it's impossible to make you stop."

"What if I told you I'm already going?"

"Shego! What if I told you I'm watching this show whether you want to or not."

"I promise." Shego held up her hand solemnly, placing her other on an invisible holy book. "I promise that as soon as you're on screen, I'll stop no matter what we're doing and you can watch yourself and stroke your ego."

"You'd like that, wouldn't you?" Kim chuckled. It was a tantalizing promise, especially since she didn't honestly want to watch the reporter's take on what happened. They were, after all, there when everything happened.

"You know I'd stroke your ego for you, if you wanted."

"Shego!" Kim feigned offence, but grinned. "Fine. I accept your promise as a legally binding agreement."

Those were the words Shego wanted to hear. She wasted no further time and pushed Kim down against the couch cushions. Kim wrapped her arms around Shego's neck and pulled the ex-villain's mouth to her own. Shego slid her fingers along the hem of Kim's shirt and tugged it up so that she could trace her fingers on Kim's flat stomach.

Kim jerked back and buried her face into the crook between Shego's neck and shoulder, where she promptly buried the burst of giggles that sprang forth. To avoid further tickling, Shego moved her hands to Kim's chest. All laughter ceased as practiced fingers tweaked Kim's nipples through the thin cloth of her bra. In retaliation, Kim nibbled on Shego's pulse point.

Continuing her ministrations, Shego darted a momentary glance at the screen. Kim's interview had begun, but she couldn't quite make her fingers stop. Ignoring her promise, Shego pulled Kim's bra aside and yanked Kim's pesky shirt up. The moment Shego's tongue hit her nipple, Kim threw her head back against the cushions. To keep from moaning too loudly, Kim twisted her head to the side and nibbled on her lips.

When she opened her eyes, she spotted the television and squealed.

"Shego!"

"Mmhmm." Shego hummed. She was in the middle of trying to work Kim's pants down off her hips.

"My interview!"

"It's recording."

"But-"

"You want me to stop?" Shego finally got Kim's jeans loosened and down. Kim squiggled.

"No." Kim panted. "I guess not."

|x|x|x|

"Ron, pay attention." Yori commanded. She snapped her fingers in front of his face and gradually his eyes focused again.

"Huh?"

"Daydreaming again?"

He blushed. "Yes."

"About food?"

"Maybe."

"Are you sure you still want this training?"

Ron switched the foot he was balancing on and shook the other out. "Yes."

"Then you'll have to pay attention."

Part of him knew he should tell her what he was really thinking about – she could probably help, he figured. But Rufus popped out of his pocket and squeaked at him, the mole-rat equivalent of a 'No! Don't do it!'

"I will." Ron promised. He focused once more on the task at hand – balancing on one foot, on top of a ten foot high pole. Soon enough, though, his mind returned to the occurrence of the previous night.

The evenings at Yori's dojo had taken on a rather monotonous routine, normally anyways. The two would practice together until around eight at night, at which point they would return to their separate quarters to meditate before bed. During his meditations, he'd felt a swelling in his chest.

And that was when the glowing had emanated from his fingers. Though startled, he quickly calmed himself and took control. Through a little experimentation, he discovered that he could bring it out, quell it, and control its strength. Far from being an expert, however, he was worried what would happen in combat.

"Ron-san, shall we go inside?"

Ron reached into his pocket and fingered the small stone that lay there next to his rodent. Shortly after helping in the defeat of Fiske, Yori had allowed him to return to the forest for his spiritual quest. This time he was given the information that he was not looking for a pinecone. What he found instead was a small chest of stones. When the stone was in his palm, he felt refreshed.

Yori called them energy stones. When held by someone with pure intentions, one could reinvigorate the holder. If Kim had been given one during her fight, she would have been more alert and faster. Ron felt a little foolish that he'd given his best friend a pinecone during such an important battle.

"Sure."

He leapt down from his pole, landing lightly. As he trailed behind his teacher and friend, he shrugged his shoulders. Perhaps he was indeed gaining the same powers as Fiske, but it didn't worry him as much as it might have a year ago. But he felt much more capable now of handling it.

|x|x|x|

Betty swiveled in her arm chair and gazed at her new office. As Global Justice had grown in prestige so had her budget. Though at first she had concentrated her finances on helping heroes, they were finally making enough money that she could use some of it on her own priorities. In another office next door, Wade had been outfitted with all the technology he needed. She rarely saw him leave the room, which worried her a little.

"Betty." An image of his face flickered across the screen in front of her.

"What's up, Wade?"

He slurped from a straw connected to a 20-oz soda cup. "Looks like trouble downtown."

"All that sugar isn't good for you."

"Tell that to Du. He fetches it all for me." Wade shrugged. "You stay awake and alert your way, and I'll do things mine."

Betty rolled her eyes. Will Du would do anything anybody in power asked him to do. She wasn't sure if it was his way of climbing the ranks, or if he truly wanted to be so helpful. Either way, he was due for a promotion one of these days.

"Who's available to take care of the situation?"

Wade rattled off a string of names. Betty arbitrarily chose a few heroes and sent out the signal to their communicators.

"We've come pretty far, haven't we?" Wade commented.

"Yes," Betty agreed, "but it was inevitable."

Wade nodded slowly, slurped again, and disconnected. Alone again, Betty swiveled towards her window and stared out at Go City. Things were peaceful now, but she knew it was only a matter of time before another villain got ideas bigger than his means. She'd be ready, and so would a platoon of heroes.